Pure and simple, drink water

Forget your sports and energy drinks, the healthiest thing to drink is water and NZ Warriors player Elijah Taylor will be promoting the clear liquid at five Far North schools today.

Taylor is returning home to Kaitaia today to visit five Far North schools to promote Rugby League and the "Leadership through League" programme, a Rugby League Northland (RLN) and the Northland DHB partnership programme.

As ambassador of the programme, Taylor is supporting the key health message "Water is the best drink".

"The natural choice for hydration is water. "It hydrates better than any other liquid, both before and during exercise," said Taylor, who played against South Sydney at Mt Smart stadium yesterday.

"Water is much less expensive and more available than any other drink. Water is the best, but it only helps you if you drink it."

Originally scheduled to attend the Leadership through League festival on Tuesday, RLN development officer Tane Kaiwai was asked to pull a rabbit out of a hat and moved mountains to get Taylor in front of the Kaitaia schools today instead.

Leadership through League teaches college students coaching and leadership principles and then has them interacting with primary school students to gain practical experience in what they have learned.

The partnership between RLN and Northland DHB utilises the Tuakana Teina relationship, an integral part of traditional Maori society that provides a model for buddy systems.

Kath Bowmar, the DHB's Well Child youth and clinical services manager, said: "Our public health nurses have been able to train and effectively work with rugby league development officers as a vehicle to deliver a key health message into the community."

"Our aim is to create a life-long habit of choosing water over fizzy or electrolyte drinks."

Leadership through League is in 12 colleges across Northland in 2013 and over 150 students will be presented with a NZRL Mini Mod Certificate and will go on to coach over 2500 primary and intermediate students in 40 Northland primary schools.Taylor will visit Kaitaia College from 11am to 11.25am; Pompallier Catholic School from 11.30am to 11.55am; TKKM Pukemiro from 12.05pm to 12.30 pm; Taipa Area School from 1pm to 1.30pm and Aniwaniwa from 2pm to 2.30 pm.

- Northern Advocate

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